Frozen Four Championship Drops Tonight

Will Boston College or Wisconsin hold the trophy tonight? Tune to ESPN2 and watch the Frozen Four Championship
Will Boston College or Wisconsin hold the trophy tonight? Tune to ESPN2 and watch the Frozen Four Championship

The point of the year that players have been looking forward to since the beginning of the season is tonight as Boston College and Wisconsin face-off in the national championship game. The puck will drop at 7:00 at Ford Field in Detroit. Thursday was the semifinals and some surprising things happened while I was there.

1. The ice was in better shape than I thought. I’ve attended outdoor games and played outdoor hockey myself. Setting up the ice in a non-traditional hockey venue has a lot of challenges. One differences I did see between the Camp Randall Classic and the Frozen Four is that the ice didn’t have to be worked on as frequent as it did during the Wisconsin-Michigan outdoor game. If you recall, the net where Bryan Hogan had to defend for two periods caused a lot of stoppages to apply dry ice as it appeared to constantly break loose and crack. At the Frozen Four, I believed only one stoppage occurred to repair the ice and that was late in the Miami-Boston College game. Another fact, is the rink used in the NHL Winter Classic is the same one used at the Frozen Four as I seen the refrigeration truck in the loading dock outside Ford Field.

2. The letdown that was both semifinals. I had a hunch that RIT would be a little over matched against Wisconsin. Wisconsin didn’t let RIT in the game at all as they scored quickly and often. Wisconsin did what Denver didn’t do and that was come out scoring from the start. I was hoping Miami-Boston College would be a good game, but a span of 4 minutes between the end of the first and beginning of the second periods is what turned this game around. BC scored late in the first and twice more in the first three minutes of the second period to take a 3-0 lead. Desperate times called for desperate measures and Miami tried to attack and press on offense which backfired as BC scored three more times in a 1:35 span in the third period to take a 6-1 lead with 8 minutes left in the game.

The crowds at Ford Field was very exciting. It was cool to see college hockey jerseys from all over the country, as some of my favorites included Boston University and Maine.

The key for Boston College to win is for them to stay out of the penalty box. Wisconsin is a deadly team on the power play as they scored three power play goals in a nine minute span. Including two five-on-three goals as RIT took too many bad penalities including a game-misconduct for checking from behind.

The key for Wisconsin is to avoid the trap of Boston College’s scoring. The Eagles scored often against Miami but they were in bunches. The Badgers have to not get too down when the Eagles score because they can come right down the ice and score again. Wisconsin has to continue to use their defenseman to create scoring chances. They looked really good with traffic in front of the net and you never know what can happen with deflections of pucks in the slot.

This is a rematch of the 2006 championship, where the Badgers defeated the Eagles 2-1. That Frozen Four was played in their home state, only down the road from its home campus in Milwaukee. In this game, I like both teams. This should be an exciting game that could even go into overtime. I think I like Wisconsin a little more than I do Boston College.

In you cannot watch the game on ESPN2, be sure to follow Hockey World Blog on Twitter for live updates.

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